Forfar Athletic 1
Danny Denholm 77
Forfar Athletic won for the first time in four games after a Danny Denholm goal was enough to see off Stenhousemuir in a scrappy match.
With thirteen minutes of the game left, Denholm backheeled Swankie’s cross past Greg Fleming, moving the Loons up to second in League One, three points behind leaders Stranraer with a game in hand.
Derek Young appeared for the first time in four months after injury as one of five changes, with Martyn Fotheringham, Gavin Malin and Omar Kader starting while Iain Campbell returned to the club on Friday for a month from Cowdenbeath. Stephen Husband, Scott Smith, Michael Dunlop dropped to the bench but Chris Templeman and Mark Baxter missed out through injury.
The Loons were dealt a massive blow less than five minutes into the game when Dale Hilson went down holding his hamstring and after attempting to play on after treatment, was forced off to be replaced by winger Danny Denholm.
In the eleventh minute Fotheringham, who was playing up front, sent a good cross into the box but the ball was cleared with Omar Kader waiting. The Warriors keeper Fleming also punched away Iain Campbell’s corner before anyone could get their head on it.
Stenhousemuir had the first shot on goal in the 21st minute, Bryan Hodge’s free kick took a slight deflection on its way over the crossbar. Josh Watt also saw his shot diverted wide by a Forfar defender.
Forfar went even closer than them in the closing stages of the first half, first Gavin Malin’s through ball was mat by Danny Denholm and he saw his shot turned wide before Michael Travis’ back post header from Fotheringham’s corner was pushed away by Fleming.
Denholm then nodded past the post from Iain Campbell’s corner seconds before the half time whistle.
The second half looked to be slightly more entertaining than the first, with a few chances in the first ten minutes, Hodge blasting over from the edge of the box for the visitors before Denholm went the closest anyone had, Gavin Swankie giving Omar Kader the ball on the right, he sent a ball into the box but Denholm’s header was stopped on the line by Ross Meechan.
A minute after Denholm’s chance, he set up Martyn Fotheringham but his shot trickled past Fleming’s post with the keeper beaten.
After a period where no chances were created, James Dale and Fotheringham saw shots blocked in a crowded penalty area, Iain Campbell’s cross causing problems for the Stenhousemuir defence, ending in Fotheringham’s shot being stopped by a defender but his attempted clearance was sliced and had to be headed over by his teammate.
Denholm grabbed all three points for the Loons with thirteen minutes left, Michael Travis’s cross found no one but Swankie picked the ball up on the left and put the ball back towards the near post and winger Denholm backheeled it through the keeper’s legs.
The goal moved the Loons up to second in the league with Greenock Morton struggling against Ayr, drawing one all and they are now only three points behind leaders Stranraer after they were defeated by the Loons’ local rivals Brechin, who are on a fantastic run of form.
Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Michael Travis, Iain Campbell, Stuart Malcolm, Darren Dods, Derek Young, Omar Kader, Gavin Malin (James Dale 56), Martyn Fotheringham (Stephen Husband 81), Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson (Danny Denholm 8)
Subs not used: Michael Dunlop, Aaron James, Scott Smith, Ross Salmon (gk)
Stenhousemuir: Greg Fleming, Ross Meechan, Alan Lithgow, Ross McMillan, Ciaran Summers, Keiran Millar, Sean Dickson (Jamie McCormack (t) 62), Bryan Hodge, Colin McMenamin, Josh Watt (Martin Grehan 86), Fraser Eddington (Kris Faulds 71)
Subs not used: Robbie Duncan, Gregor Fotheringham, Lee Gallacher, Chris Smith (gk)